Thursday, April 5, 2012

APRIL 19TH — THE DAY TO BREAK THE SILENCE! SAY NO TO MASS INCARCERATION!





 
  The Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for a National Day of Action to Stop Mass Incarceration on Thursday, April 19th.  These national actions has everything to do with, and joins with, the upsurge associated with this "Trayvon Martin moment."

On April 19th everyone who is concerned about injustice will join in saying -- NO TO MASS INCARCERATION!  There will be rallies and demonstrations in cities across the country,  from New York to Houston, to Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.  College and high school students will hold teach in's and other actions on their campuses.  There will be cultural events held on that day.  And the architects and enforcers of mass incarceration will be challenged over the inhumanity of the policies they are inflicting on society.  Why?  Because,
  • More than 2.4 million people, most of them Black or Latino, remain warehoused in prisons across the country;
  • Black and Latino youth are treated like criminals by the police and the criminal justice system, guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive their encounters with police to prove their innocence;
  • Former prisoners wear badges of shame and dishonor even after they serve their sentences -- discriminated against when applying for jobs, denied access to government assistance, not allowed in public housing, denied the right to vote.

In a short statement being released and circulated nationwide today, Wednesday, April 4th, it declares:

"It is time and way past time to stand up and say NO MORE!  Our youth are being treated like criminals—guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence.  The vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin concentrates the racial profiling that leads into more than 2.4 million people being warehoused in prison and the millions more who are treated like second-class citizens even after they've served their sentences.  April 19th must be a day of standing up and saying NO MORE to all of this.  Join us to organize a day of teach ins and rallies in high schools and colleges; a day of youth, tired of being demonized, taking to the streets—joined by many others from different backgrounds, races and nationalities who stand with them; a day of speaking bitterness to the way the whole criminal justice system abuses millions of people. All saying in a powerful voice: NO to mass incarceration and all its consequences."

April 19th Convergences (so far):

Chicago: 5:00 pm - Federal Plaza (Dearborn & Adams)
Los Angeles: 4:00 pm - Pershing Square (5th & Olive, Downtown LA);  5:00 PM - March to                    LAPD Headquarters.
New York:   4:00 pm - One Police Plaza. (Downtown Manhattan); 5:30 pm - March to Union Square.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network, answering the call made by Carl Dix and Cornel West, are the initiators of the "Stop Stop & Frisk" campaign in New York.  To contact the Network, please email stopmassincarceration@ymail.com, or call 866-841-9139 x2670.

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Endorsements

See below for the growing list of endorsers to the call for national actions against mass incarceration:

[In formation] Professor of Social Work, USC; Edward Asner, Actor; Lawrence Aubry, Convenor, Advocates for Black Strategic Alternatives; Lucy Bailey, Independent, LA Ca; Nellie Bailey, Occupy Harlem; Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis, Director of Peace and Justice, All Saints Church. Pasadena, Ca.; Jared Ball, VOXUNION Media, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Social Justice Committee, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists; Rev. Dr. Dorsey O. Blake, Presiding Minister, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples; Blase Bonpane, Ph.D., Director, OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS; Herb Boyd, Harlem-based author, educator, journalist and activist; Bob Brown, co-director, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) Institute; John L. Burris, Civil Rights Attorney; Rev. Richard "Meri Ka Ra" Byrd, Senior Pastor, KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science; California Coalition for Women Prisoners; Kendra Castaneda, Prisoner Human Rights Activist with a family member in CA State Prison Segregation Unit; Denika Chapman, mother, and Marco Scott, uncle, of Kenneth Harding, Kenneth Harding Foundation; Solomon Comissiong, Executive Director, Your World News Media Collective (www.yourworldnews.org); Community Futures Collective, Vallejo CA; Drucilla Cornell, Professor, Department of Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers University; Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities, Vanderbilt University; Oscar De La Torre, Founder/Executive Director, Pico Youth and Family Center, Santa Monica, CA; Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist, co-initiator of Campaign to Stop "Stop and Frisk"; Kevin Epps, Independent Filmmaker/Activist; Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report; Dr. Henry Giroux, Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada; Rebeca Guerrero, Los Angeles, CA; Jeff Haas, Civil Rights Attorney, Activist and Author of The Assasination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther; Kelley Lytle Hernandez, Professor of History, UCLA; Jeremy Hiller, Education Not Incarceration; Mike Holman, Executive Director, Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund*; Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP) members Mary C. Singaus, Douglas MacMillan, Margaret Hutchinson, Stephen L. Fiske, Susan Anderson, Ed Fisher, Anthony Manouses, and Andy Griggs, Los Angeles CA; The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3; Melvin Ishmael Johnson, Director of Dramastage-Qumran Workshop; Mesha Irizarry, Idris Stelly Foundation; Cephus 'Uncle Bobby' Johnson, Oscar Grant Foundation; Robin DG Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History, UCLA; Wayne Kramer, Jail Guitar Doors USA, Co-Founder; Patricia Krommer CSJ, Pax Christi So. California; Sarah Kuntsler, Esq., National Lawyers Guild NYC*; Joe Maizlish, Los Angeles, CA; BM Marcus, community activist and organizer, Brooklyn NY; Carlos Meza, Occupy Whittier; Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen (Unity Methodist Clergy), President, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Cal-Pac; Peter McLaren, School of Critical Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Rev. Darrel Meyers, Presbyterian Church USA; Nancy Michaels, Associate Director of the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation; Gregg Morris, Assistant Professor, Journalism, Department of Film and Media Studies, Hunter College; Oakland Education Association Representative Assembly; October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation (New York Committee); Laura Pulido, Visiting Professor, Department of Black Studies, UCSB; Professor, Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, USC; Willie and Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View Black National Newspaper; Anthony Rayson, curator of South Chicago Anarchist Black Cross Zine Distro; Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, Rector Emeritus, All Saints Church, Pasadena, CA; Joyce Robbins, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Touro College; Dylan Rodriguez, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Riverside, and founding member of Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex; Stephen Rohde, Chair, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace; Lila Salas, Occupy Whittier; Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, Freedom Church; Dan Siegel, Civil Rights attorney; Ellen Snortland, author, activist, performer; Jahan Stanizui, Culver City Interfaith; Paul Von Blum, African American Studies, UCLA; Jim Vrettos, Professor of Sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Anne Weills, National Lawyers Guild; Cornel West, author and educator, co-initiator of Campaign to Stop "Stop and Frisk"; Clyde Young, Revolutionary Communist, and former prisoner;

*For Identification Purposes Only.  Update:  April 4, 2012


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The "Stop Mass Incarceration: We're Better Than That!" Network is a project of the Alliance for Global Justice, a 501c3 tax-exempt organization.  Tax-deductible contributions accepted, and checks should be made payable to the "Alliance for Global Justice, with "Mass Incarceration Network" in the memo line.  Other forms of contributions also accepted.


"Stop Mass Incarceration: We're Better Than That!" Network

c/o P.O. Box 941 Knickerbocker Station
New York City, New York 10002-0900

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Steve Yip, P.O. Box 941, Knickerbocker Station, New York, New York 10002-0900 * 866-841-9139 x2670,  yipzzz@gmail.com

"If you don't have a poetic spirit -- or at least a poetic side -- it is very dangerous for you to lead a Marxist movement or be the leader of a socialist state."    -- Bob Avakian, 1990


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